Saturday, August 20, 2005

City OKs gratitude gifts
for fire team

Property owners say hard work
helped contain brush fires

Hawaiian Electric Co. and Campbell Estate are presenting Honolulu firefighters with gifts certificates in appreciation of their hard work in battling brush fire after brush fire this year.

Although city law has strict guidelines on gifts and donations to city employees and appointed officials, a HECO spokesman said the certificates had been approved by the city for each of the roughly 1,100 Honolulu Fire Department personnel.

The certificates will be presented during a 9:30 a.m. ceremony Monday at the Fire Department's Valkenburgh Street training center.

"We were thinking of gold Rolls-Royces, but I think everyone will be happy with this," joked HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg. "Seriously, though, this is just a small thank-you, paid for jointly by Campbell and Hawaiian Electric. ... I don't want to say how much, but it's something every human being can use.

"They really worked hard. ... They were all around our power plant. That was a big deal for us."

Flames threatened HECO's Kahe Power Plant this week when a brush fire burned an estimated 2,800 acres in Nanakuli Valley. HFD crews also fought to contain the fire so that it did not spread into the forest reserve area.

Gift certificates will also be given to more than 100 military and civilian pilots who provided air support during the brush fires, and 30 federal firefighters.

"This is just our way of saying mahalo to each and every firefighter who fought the worst fire of the season," Campbell Estate CEO Steve MacMillan said through a spokeswoman.

City Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said the certificates are acceptable, noting that city employees may receive personal gifts of no more than $200. Rosegg said he did not want to describe the gift certificates or their amount.

E-mail to City Desk


© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://archives.starbulletin.com